21 March 2007

Not Reading, Just Sharing

My old Secret Pal, Canknitian, posted a question on her last blog post to help her along with her book club. What are we reading? What was the best book of last year?...That sort of thing.
Well, a confession: I haven't read a book in over a year. This is a remarkable statement coming from me. I am (was?) a devourer of fiction. My home contains hundreds of books. The library and used book stores have been haunts of mine all my life.
See, one of the side effects of my current struggle with anxiety/depression has been a severe ding in my ability to concentrate. The written word, particularly in stories, dance about the page and make little sense. My brain is just too busy. If I do manage to concentrate long enough to pick up the thread, I get too emotionally involved in the characters and have unreasonable responses if something bad happens. So I put reading aside. Didn't even pick up a newspaper for months.
I've have been reading a lot of poetry. Visual imagery created by words I can experience without problem. It's like watching dance or knitting with a beautiful yarn. It happens to you. It doesn't require over thinking. Rhythm, music, colour...
Last week, I tried reading a favourite novel of mine, reasoning that a book I've read and loved before might be the way to get back into fiction. No success. This makes me sad.


koko puff said...

I feel the same way but about movies. I just can't invest the emotional energy and time in a movie! On the other hand, poetry hurts my brain -- fiction is way less painful!

Miss Scarlett said...

It is sad and frustrating when you can't do the things that used to make you happy. Depression and anxiety are no stranger to me. There is only so much you can do with the energy that you have when you are suffering. I know what you mean about the emotional involvement with characters. Really, you are protecting yourself right now - conserving your strength.
Poetry is powerful. It can give voice to things when we can't.
Give yourself some time. As your anxiety recedes you will regain the energy for more favourite pursuits. In the meanwhile, I hope you can find comfort in poetry and knitting, friends and family and knowing you are not alone!

krista said...

I have this ongoing thing with fiction where I go through phases of mad infatuation with quickly reading all the books on the Canada Reads CBC annual thingie, to completely hating all fiction and not being able to get into any of it.

I am trying very hard to get into the Namesake which I have been reading for about an entire year now. Sigh.

PS- I was Canknittians secret pal one year, she was so fun to shop for.